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Step-by-Step Guide for Getting a Jump on Your Holiday Home Decorating

By Amitha Verma

Back to school and Labor Day signal one thing.

Holiday season is approaching…and fast!

Even as you may be enjoying the last few days of what still feels like summer, believe it or not, THIS is the perfect time to start thinking about your holiday hosting.

Why?

Because if you plan ahead, you can decorate, menu plan, and get ready for guests with all the time you need, and do so in an enjoyable way - without feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

Sure, procrastinating is fun (so bad to say, but so true) and pressure and deadlines may help to get your projects done, but eventually that takes a toll and can ultimately take the joy out of working in and on your home.

So this fall, we’re going to be sharing step-by-step project guides each week to make the experience fun, inspiring and authentic.

Imagine a fall and holiday season that you can actually relax and enjoy with your family for once!

You in?

Of course you are! Let’s get started!

Bedding and Seating

If you thought I was going to start with pumpkins, think again.

It may seem counterintuitive, but here’s why you should start here.

●These two projects take the longest time to start and finish

●You need a little extra time to make selections and talk it over with your tribe

●There are often bigger blocks with too many choices

The biggest holdback I hear, “What fabrics should I use?”

Here are my must-haves on any project.

A Solid Linen

Whether you love pattern or fear it, you must include one of these in each of your rooms. This can be on sofas, benches, ottomans, wherever you’d like but include one.

What color?

Easy.

Any color that inspires YOU.

This is often the starting point for a project for us. If our client chooses a pale gray linen, we build on that. Oatmeal color linen, we build on that. Navy blue linen, we build on that – starting to get the idea?

I’ve used all of these colors for clients and in my own home.

A Solid Velvet

This is a must-have as well. (Do not skip this step!)

As I write this, I am sitting on a velvet chair with my feet on top of a velvet window bench looking out of a high-rise hotel on to the city. (Don’t mind me - I’m having a Carrie Bradshaw blogging moment over here.)

How did I feel when I got here?

Cozy and at home.

That is what velvet does and why it’s an absolute must-have fabric for me.

Velvets are in ALL of my projects and, of course, used throughout my own home as well.

You can use them anywhere - chairs, sofas, ottomans, benches, and they instantly add a cozy, rich, warm and comforting feel to the room.

Again, start with colors that inspire you. If fuchsia’s your jam, go for it.

Any color can create a stunning palette from pale cream to deep blues, yellows, jewel tones and more. 

Pattern Play

Now that you’ve got the solids down, it’s time to jump into the scary waters of pattern! (Don’t worry - I’m about to make this entire process much less nerve-wracking.)

Lines and Boxes

Always include one of these.

Now that you have your base scheme down, build on it and start looking for some complementary patterns.

Here’s one my favorites - a classic check pattern like these:

Stripe – A little striping adds some order.

My favorite, an irregular stripe like one of these.

To super-charge your stripe, you can even add one with a pattern like this.

And if you’re brave enough to go outside of the “lines” you can add in a little wavy-stripe-meets-floral pattern.

Geometrics

Like arabesque shapes? You’ll love the trellis pattern. 

Available at Village Antiques

Starting to get the hang of it? Look for stripes, dots, shapes, circles, squares and anything geometric.

Flower Power

I’m a huge fan of floral fabrics. Hubby, not so much. So this depends on you and your tribe’s tolerance level!

I actually do include these in every project, whether as an overall fabric for bedding, a chair or even just a pillow.

Either way, you can’t go wrong, because you see so much of this in nature, it just feels like home (or second nature, ha) when you bring it inside.

Available at Village Antiques

Available at Village Antiques

Available at Village Antiques

How can you use this?

If you love pattern:

Entire chair upholstery, benches, ottomans, duvet cover, shams, window treatments, wallpaper – you name it!

If you’re not so keen and prefer less pattern:

Benches, throw pillows, shams, bed skirt.

Fancy Fabrics

These are the jewel box ones, and the ones I use to make a ‘wow’ statement. (Yes, you need this too, even it’s just a hand-towel.)

I’m talking rich patterned silks like damask patterns, scenes, chinoiserie, classic chintz patterns and my favorite: toile!

My Mama always asks me why I love to write about “toil-ey”. Why not? It’s the best!

This is what you can use to make your own WOW statement.

For example you might add in one of these:

Now that you know the key categories, you can mix in these “fancy fabrics” to make your design statement.

Which one and how much? When it comes to pattern, I say go with whatever makes your heart sing.

You can add this to your pillows and benches for small doses or cover the entire surface like the categories I mentioned above.

There are some patterns I love, like toile, so I went all out.

In my family room, I have a blue-gray velvet sofa and across from it I have a toile sofa – yes the entire sofa is covered in toile.

Combined with the solid upholstery it’s not too much, at least for me.

And that’s really what it’s all about. You, your family, your home, your passions, your story.

When fear of judgment or taking a risk creeps in, channel your inner Rhett Butler, and just say, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!”

At the end of the day, it’s about who you are.

So, there you have it! Now you can finish those seating and bedding projects and be ready for all the holiday fun without all the stress.

What do you think? Does this make the process easier?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! What are your favorite fabrics? What are you going to add into your home?

Leave a comment and let us know.

With love and in friendship,

Amitha

P.S. You can find many pieces like the ones in the photos with all of these types of fabrics at Village Antiques. Come in and visit us!

P.P.S. In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing and doing some more awesome fall and holiday projects so you can open up your home with confidence, authenticity and love. Be sure to check back often to see what we’re up to. And remember to share YOUR masterpieces with us on Instagram using the hashtag #amithaverma (or email them to us and we will share them). 

Don’t be shy!

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